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A Look At Lufthansa’s New Boeing 747-8 Premium Economy Seat

The Lufthansa Group has this week revealed its choice of seating for its future premium economy cabin. The seats, supplied by German manufacturer ZIM, will be installed across several of its aircraft, including 777s and A340s for SWISS as well as Lufthansa’s 747-8s. Eventually, it will be making an appearance on the new additions to Lufthansa’s stable, including the Dreamliner and the 777X.

ZIMprivacy has been chosen as the new seat. Photo: ZIM Aircraft Seating

ZIMprivacy for Lufthansa Group

The Lufthansa Group has unveiled its choice of premium economy seat for its new incoming aircraft, including the 747-8. The group has selected a model from German manufacturer ZIM Aircraft Seating, which delivers on the premium feel with more space and privacy built-in.

The partnership with ZIM is not a new one for the Lufthansa Group. The firm has been supplying its premium economy product with the ZIMmagic seat since 2014. But this is a significant upgrade from the old seat, and promises a superior level of comfort for future Lufthansa passengers. Sven Achilles, CEO of ZIM Aircraft Seating commented, saying,

“The award of this project to ZIM Aircraft Seating is a very good sign for the future direction of commercial aviation in the long-lasting Covid-19 crisis and indicates a recovery in flight activities. The entire ZIM Aircraft Seating team is very proud that we have hit the right nerve in the market with our new product development of the ZIMprivacy, and that with Lufthansa and SWISS we were able to convince two strong partners as launch customers.”

Lufthansa new premium economy
Each airline in the group will tailor the finish to reflect its own brand identity. Photo: ZIM Aircraft Seating

The first passengers who will get to enjoy the ZIMprivacy seat will be those flying SWISS on its Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 – those will be in service by March. Next, nine of SWISS’ regional A330s and Lufthansa’s 747-8s, all 19 of them, will receive the upgrade. Each airline will feature a slightly different trim and finish to reflect its own colors and branding.

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Further down the line, Lufthansa’s future Dreamliners will enjoy the new product, as will its incoming Airbus A350s. Finally, the hotly anticipated but delayed 777X will arrive with this premium economy onboard.

Lufthansa new premium economy
Large screens and plenty of attention to detail give the seats a premium feel. Photo: ZIM Aircraft Seating

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Is it any good?

While the proof, as they say, will be in the pudding, at first glance, this looks to be a significant improvement over Lufthansa’s current premium economy product. Most notably, the seats have a hard shell, with the recline function taking place within that shell. This means no leaning back to encroach on the personal space of the passenger behind, something that was a bit of a problem on the Emirates A380 premium economy.

Lufthansa new premium economy
In-shell reclining has, in the past, not provided great levels of comfort. Photo: ZIM Aircraft Seating

However, this type of hard shell recline has got plenty of hate from flyers in the past, most notably the Air France version. It’s well known for causing lower back stress and pain, so the onus really rests on ZIM to have taken this into account and engineered itself a decent level of support in the seat. That, we won’t know until we’ve flown it.

Nevertheless, the design, materials and finish look pretty classy. The large seatback screens speak more to the premium than the economy side of things, and little touches like the adjustable armrests, cocktail tables, and personal reading light add to the premium feel.

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Lufthansa current premium economy
The new product looks to be a significant improvement over its current offering. Photo: Lufthansa

But the real standout feature here is given away in the name – ZIMprivacy. The designers have worked to improve the sense of separation from other passengers with an integrated privacy shield around the head of each person. It’s hardly a doored suite, but at premium economy prices, it’s an effective way to create private space and most certainly a step up from the current offering.

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